Review: Guns N’ Roses at Lansdowne

In the annals of rock and roll history, there are a few events that fall into the ‘until hell freezes over’ category.

First there was the Eagles reforming back in 1994 with the literal ‘hell freezes over’ theme.

Then in 2007, Led Zeppelin reformed for a one-night gig.  Let’s not talk about that one, shall we?

Now, we have the joining of Slash and Axl….no one ever thought we would see the day, but here we are!  They are hot on their ‘Not in this lifetime’ tour and they decided to hit up Ottawa along the way.  Saweet!

Guns have a big spot in my heart.  I remember countless road trips listening to Use Your Illusion in the cassette deck after Marc’s brother introduced us to it.  It was a whole other world in terms of music.  What are guitar solos?  Why are they swearing so much?  Why do I find this so freaking awesome?!

So when they got back together, it was literally a dream come true.  After missing out on Zeppelin in 2007, I wasn’t letting anything stop me this time around.

On Monday, I made my way down to Lansdowne Park to pick up some merchandise.  In true Guns N Roses fashion, the merchandise booth that was supposed to open up around noon ended up opening up near 2:30.  I was smart and sat on a patio with a few pints of beer and just when I was leaving, they decided to open up the truck.

Sweet wheels bro.

I managed to pick up a pretty cool tour poster and a couple of t-shirts for Vero and I.  Man, the GNR machine is a merchandiser’s dream…the only had like…25 different shirts to choose from!

Looking pretty clean before the crowds show up!

After heading home to have some pizza with Chantal and Maelle who were babysitting, we headed back downtown and were walking into the venue to the sounds of Our Lady Peace playing Naveed!  I felt bad for my buddy Martin who hadn’t seen OLP yet and wanted to see them play Naveed but he managed to show up late.  Bummer!

Rock on!

I have only been to Lansdowne Park one other time and that was for AC/DC a few years ago.  I really enjoy Lansdowne on a beautiful evening like this.  Open air festivals rule!  They also rearranged the beer tents compared to the last time we were there and I found it was a pleasant experience overall.  I ended up spending more time in line getting a bottle of water for Vero than I did getting beer from the guys walking around the joint.

The guys behind us were pretty cool and offered to snap a photo of us.

I had a vague idea of where we were sitting but I was blown away by how close we actually were when we finally arrived to our seats.  Total score!  I also like how we paid half the price of the people sitting about five rows in front of us.  Can’t complain about that!

OLP always put on a good show! 

Our Lady Peace got the crowd going with a greatest hits filled setlist, along with a new tune off their new EP which was pretty good!

Look who found us!

Martin and Vero ended up scoring free tickets to the concert which was beyond amazing.  They ended up about ten rows in front of us but they dropped by to party it up for the end of OLP’s set.

Slash!

Unbelievably, the band managed to show up on stage at 7:28PM instead of 3 hours late which was common practice for the band (read: Axl) for the past 30 years.  I’m pretty sure him joining AC/DC for a stint smartened him up a bit.

Good stage shot.

The entire show as a dream come true.  Duff, Slash and Axl back on stage together…come on.  They know how to put on a show.  I literally felt like I was at a Use Your Illusion tour back in 1992.  They played so many songs from those albums.  The previous tour which promoted Chinese Democracy had ONE song from Use Your Illusion.

The really good looking photos are from the Lansdowne official Facebook page.

In terms of vocal ability, I would have to say Axl is around 80% there.  He definitely got better as the night went on and he has definitely said that he needs his voice to warm up (hence those 3 hour long delays in years gone by).  But for the most part, he could really nail those notes and there were only a few songs near the beginning where I was cringing a little.

Slash during his 3 hour long guitar solo.

But Slash….SLASH!  We all know the guy can play, but when you have three hours in front of him, you really gain an appreciation for what he can do.  That guy can just set his guitar to vertical and play that thing all night long.  It’s magical!

I had no idea what was really going on here.  Camera vs. video mode is hard to tell sometimes!

Good night!

We were definitely not disappointed with the show.  It was a perfect night, beers were flowing well and we sang our hearts out.  Go see them on this tour, you won’t be disappointed!

Setlist

It’s So Easy

Mr. Brownstone

Chinese Democracy (this was a little strange seeing Slash play on guitar…he definitely seemed out of place with this song)

Welcome to the Jungle

Double Talking’ Jive

Better (pretty good rendition of this Chinese Democracy tune!  They changed it a bit to fit more the guitar style)

Estranged

Live and Let Die

Rocket Queen

You Could Be Mine

New Rose

This I Love (Axl was nailing this one!)

Civil War

Yesterdays

Coma (OH MY GOD THEY PLAYED COMA.  All time favourite tune.  Amazing to see live!)

Slash’s 20 minute guitar solo including some Johnny B. Goode and Godfather theme)

Sweet Child O’ Mine

Used to Love Her

My Michelle

Wish You Were Here (no vocals, just an awesome duet on guitar)

November Rain (with Layla piano exit)

Black Hole Sun (quite appropriate for the solar eclipse that afternoon!)

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

Nighttrain

Don’t Cry

Whole Lotta Rosie

Patience

The Seeker

Paradise City

 

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